Parrott building off TEA Party activism

July 25, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

The Hagerstown TEA Party was Neil Parrott's attempt to influence government from the outside.

Now, he wants to be a state delegate in Annapolis and represent people as upset as he is about taxation and regulation.

Parrott formed the Hagerstown TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party last year as part of a nationwide movement protesting high taxes, a rising deficit and other federal issues. The Hagerstown group has held local rallies and joined in large ones in Washington, D.C.

A Republican candidate for Subdistrict 2B state delegate, Parrott said Maryland has taxed itself out of getting new businesses, such as Northrop Grumman, which is putting its headquarters in Virginia instead.


Maryland has one of the nation's highest personal income tax rates, he said.

"People are anxious," he said. "They're out of a job. Government affects people in their everyday lives."

Parrott said the board of his housing development, the Hamptons at Brightwood, on which he served last year, made tough financial decisions, such as dropping its management company.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, a Republican, holds the Subdistrict 2B seat, but is leaving it behind to challenge state Sen. Donald F. Munson in a primary this year.

Once word spread that Shank wasn't running again, Parrott announced he would, getting a jump on the field in campaigning and raising money. That was in September 2009.

Another Republican candidate, Ted Brennan, has filed to run. He'll face Parrott in a Sept. 14 primary.

Brien J. Poffenberger, a Democrat, also is vying for the seat.

The general election is Nov. 2.

Delegate terms are four years. The salary is $43,000 a year.

Parrott, 39, who lives near Hagerstown, was a state traffic engineer, then deputy director of public works for engineering for the City of Frederick (Md.), before starting his own business, Traffic Solutions Inc., in August 2007.

Besides Parrott, the company has one full-time employee and uses part-time help to do traffic studies.

Parrott said job creation and the effects of government are the main themes of his campaign.

Name: Neil Parrott

Date of birth: July 30, 1970

Address: 20005 Lindenhurst Court, near Hagerstown

Education: Bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1994; master's degree in business administration from St. Mary's University in 2006

Occupation: Owner of Traffic Solutions Inc. in Hagerstown, a traffic-consulting business

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: First run for public office

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